Terry McAuliffe's 'moral imperatives'
Virginia’s Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a two-year state budget last Friday but vetoed two amendments proposed by Republican majorities in both houses that prevent McAuliffe from using the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission(MIRC) to expand health coverage through Medicaid.
The amendments eliminated appropriations and required approval by the assembly before the state could use federal funds to expand health coverage. McAuliffe said he would veto any budget language that would stop him from expanding Medicaid on his own. He called the Commission “a sham” and directed his Cabinet not to attend any more “meaningless MIRC meetings.”
From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
"Let me be crystal clear: I am moving forward to get Virginians health care… By refusing any and all compromise, the House leadership has turned its back on people all over Virginia who were looking to us to help them and their families gain access to lifesaving treatments and medicine,” he said in a news conference at the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond.
McAuliffe called health care coverage “a moral imperative.” He directed Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel to give him a plan by Sept. 1 on “how we can move Virginia health care forward even in the face of the demagoguery, lies, fear and cowardice that have gripped this debate for too long.”
Someone should tell McAuliffe that it is not legal or moral to spend state revenues on something not approved by the state legislatures, but hey, why would he not follow his leader in Washington and just "executive order" anything he wants? It sure is amusing to see Virginia’s governor try to force more wealth redistribution and banana-republic dismantling of our state constitution down our throats. The last thing we need in Virginia is more people standing in line waiting for their next government handout.
But according to the Washington Post, we don’t need to worry. The paper reported that the “Obama administration has offered to pay most of the costs of Medicaid in states that choose to do so.”
How generous of them. I think Virginians, at least the ones who didn’t vote for Bill Clinton’s bagman, know the $2 billion a year in federal government monies being “offered” by Obama is coming out of their own pockets.
And then there’s McAuliffe’s minions. Senator A. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico, chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, is ready for the fight. The GOP’s majority is large enough in the House of Delegates to override a veto, but not in the Senate. McEachin said he and fellow Democrats would stand behind McAuliffe “like a solid wall.”
As far as whether a governor has the legal authority to strip “language amendments” from the state budget, McEachin pronounced, “I’m comfortable with the legality of it.”
McEachin, like McAuliffe, is comfortable with executive overreach, burdening taxpayers, and neutering states’ rights. But not with growing the economy or creating jobs so that 400,000 more Virginians don’t end up on government programs like Medicaid .
On Saturday, McAuliffe doubled down on his own demagoguery at an annual fundraiser in Richmond, Virginia.
People ask me, "Why are you so passionate on this issue?" ... I spent the last four months going to hospitals and clinics in every part of Virginia. And I’d like some of those tea party members and some of those folks in the House of Delegates to come with me and visit these folks. How can we treat people like this? How can we be so mean-spirited?
Has Governor McAuliffe ever been on Medicaid? Most physicians will not even accept patients on the government-sponsored program because the reimbursement rates are too low. How will adding 400,000 more patients, who routinely flood hospital emergency rooms and area clinics, solve cost and care problems? What about middle-class and lower-middle-class folks whose premiums skyrocketed after Obama’s health care law went into effect and who do not qualify for charity programs? The uninsured poor and illegal immigrants in some areas have better access to specialists and general practitioners than taxpaying families.
“Mean-spirited”? Late Monday, House Speaker William J. Howell, R-Stafford, countered McAuliffe’s lame attack by refusing to allow the House to consider the governor’s veto of budget restrictions on his ability to use federal funds for health coverage without the approval of the General Assembly – temporarily putting a damper on McAuliffe’s plans to expand Medicaid.